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Toshiba 42ZV555DB review

Toshiba's 42in screen lags behind the latest competition in flatscreens Tested at £800.00

Our Verdict

Toshiba seems to have been left behind somewhat by the latest crop of new flatscreens

For

  • Enjoyable black tones
  • good with motion (eventually)

Against

  • TV tuners don’t convince
  • so-so 1080p pictures
  • unpleasant sound

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Toshiba seems to have been left behind somewhat by the latest crop of new flatscreens

Pros

  • + Enjoyable black tones
  • + good with motion (eventually)

Cons

  • - TV tuners don’t convince
  • - so-so 1080p pictures
  • - unpleasant sound

Out in the mainstream is where the majority of fish are to be caught, and Toshiba tries to understand this as well as anyone – that's why its LCD TVs are priced as they're priced and look like they look.

Take this 42ZV555DB, for instance – there's absolutely nothing remarkable about its appearance, and we get the impression that's exactly how Toshiba expects its customers to like it.

Run-of-the-mill specification
A perusal of the spec sheet doesn't help the Tosh stand apart. Full HD resolution, three HDMI inputs, twin tuners... this is standard fare for a screen of this price.

Even the set-up menus, comprehensive and mercifully logical, don't want to draw attention to themselves and so hide in a tiny portion of the screen where you either have to squint to see them or move a bit closer.

Pictures from either of the TV tuners are a little bit coarse, a little bit soft and a little bit noisy – this is by no means an easy combination to achieve.

Within that, though, the Toshiba offers reasonable motion stability and pleasant contrasts. In fact, given how bright the 42ZV555DB's screen is when idle, its black tones are deep and persuasive.

Sure-footed with colour and contrast
A switch to either DVD or Blu-ray-sourced content does enough to cure the coarseness of the images, and the Tosh displays a winning facility with colour and contrasts.

There's even a degree of certainty to its motion-tracking (albeit after a long bout of menu-massage). The softness we noticed before remains even with 1080p/24fps images, though, and there's a lack of outright detail. It's all a bit so-so, all a bit, well, ordinary.

Sound isn't quite so average: it's congested and sibilant. Any kind of adventurousness with volume is discouraged in the most straightforward manner – it becomes exponentially more sibilant until you turn it down again.

This is the trouble with the mainstream – no one aspires to it. We all want something a little bit special, a little bit individual. The problem here is that Toshiba is only able to supply the commonplace, and that won't do.

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.


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